Ambassador Alice Wells, the senior bureau official for South and Central Asian Affairs, has said the United States government is prepared to support, facilitate, and participate in direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
In an official testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Ambassador Wells said “Our desired outcomes for any peace process are clear and have not changed. The Taliban must renounce violence, break ties with al-Qaida, and accept the Afghan Constitution – including its protections for women and minorities.”
“There have been signs that the Taliban’s Pakistan-based leaders are debating the merits of joining a peace process; however, the group has not responded to President Ghani’s offer of unconditional talks,” she added.
This comes as the Taliban group leadership has been emphasizing on direct talks with the US officials in a bid to end the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.
“The only path to rescuing ourselves from all these calamities is for all American and other occupying forces to leave our country and for an independent, Islamic, intra-Afghan government to take root. Our Jihad began for this exact purpose and in conjunction to our armed Jihad, we have kept the doors of understanding and negotiations open to reach this objective and appointed the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate as the exclusive avenue of activity in this regard,” the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada said in a message released ahead of Eid Al-Fitr.
He said “If the American officials truly believe in a peaceful end to the Afghan imbroglio then they must directly present themselves to the negotiation table so that this tragedy (invasion) – the destructive effects of which mainly harm the American and Afghan people – can be resolved through talks. The biggest mistake on part of the American officials is that they approach every problem with stubbornness but force cannot yield results in every case.”